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committee which has 120 members, effectively the legislative body of the mobile muslim brotherhood. the short committee will discuss and vote on decisions that executed by the guidance office, down a pyramid structure with multiple membership, most important of which is the family, essentially a cell that five or eight people coordinator brotherhood command at the local level in neighborhoods across the country. so for example as protests picked up against morsi's to greet a brother of organized on dec. first considerations outside cairo university and elsewhere to organize is by having been denied the local level, bring people to cairo university and it had a hard time, a number of bus drivers especially in upper egypt were concerned airbuses would get attacked and burned by protesters of the brotherhood
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started paying its members according to a report, 30 pounds, food and other means of transportation. then on december 4th you had a new round of anti morsi protests, what unnerved the brotherhood was for the first time they called for him to step down. the guidance office met in his home on december 4th that night, in a cairo suburb. they met there and the following day the brotherhood organized attacks on protesters including the use of torture chambers and did you look at the video of some of these attacks, this is organized, you have groups of muslim brothers running in a somewhat work needed fashion at the protesters. how to live draw this linkage, all my social or? on december 5th, i was working at the institute to call people who had been in that meeting and we were able to speak to three
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people who confirmed the meeting took place at president of morsi's house and coordinated response to the anti morsi protest. they said the anti morsi protesters are the violent ones and we are peaceful but nonetheless i can tell you for a fact, they saw that the meeting took place and coordinated the response to the protests. third lesson, morsi is not a compromiser. i will go biographical year. first of all you have to understand who morsi was in the brotherhood. this idea that he was the son known backroom player, that is half true. he was the brotherhood's internal enforcer. what that meant, he made a key role in making sure other brotherhood leaders describe to the hard-line ideology and
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tactics. there is this essential division in the brotherhood between people 4 as features, not judges, they want a more social preaching organization and those who wanted to be a vanguard for political program. they have taken over since 2009 in particular but emerged essentially around 2005 or so. morsi saw his job is to weed out people, who for example disagree with the brotherhood's 2007 party platform which morsi credited with having crafted saying that women can't run for president so overtime he edged up these people out. he was also hosni mubarak regime's debt of contact in the muslim brotherhood. you could say maybe he is a negotiator because he set these negotiations and to the cause me mubarak regime. the reason the brotherhood chose
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him was a trusted that he would co the organization's line in these difficult discussions with the regime, not only that but the regime, this is from my interviews with top brotherhood leaders, want to talk to morsi but they viewed him as an authentic representation what the brotherhood was thinking and doing and a specific moment. this is a hard-liner, not someone who compromises. finally, morsi believed the mother of -- muslim brotherhood practically guarantees a victory. i am not in his head, i didn't ask him this but the reason i get that is because frankly the only interesting thing that came out of time magazine's interview with morsi is morsi was the guidance of his leader during last year's revolution was directing the movement in the square. he was the one telling people where to go and what to do. i have burn in brotherhood dominated demonstrations and dino there's always one person
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in those demonstrations speaking regularly with the guidance office and distributing memos which i have seen to lower-level brotherhood leaders in the demonstrations of morsi was that figure, this is to say he understands the importance of the brotherhood's mobilizing capabilities for winning and we should remember, you think you're going to win, that you have immobilizing ability to always when you are not going to concede anything, you are not going to compromise, why should you. that is for losers. so much for the compromiser. this is a press conference.
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>> in terms of what the u.s. could have dope, there were a number of opportunities where it could have said something. for example, when judges pulled out of oversight, when international monitors hadn't been sent, we could have raised concerns about the legitimacy of the process. we could used the relationship that the president at least thinks he has with president morsi to say to him the situation you're creating in egypt is very unstable, we could have made a statement about the purpose of constitutions being consensual documents for the rules of the game. that's what legislation is supposed to do. i mean, these are things that we
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could have said. now, i have to also say that, um, you know, would it have mattered, you know? that's really the question. well, it depends. on one hand the brotherhood i see is a very stubborn, dedicated, regimented organization. i could see them very well saying, excuse me, you're interfering, which is what they said to erdogan last year, but on the other hand by not saying anything, the signal that we've sent is that we have some sort of arrangement with the muslim brotherhood. now, i'm not one who believes that we are pro-muslim brotherhood. i believe that, actually, we're trying to do as little as possible, but the optics in cairo are very, very dangerous because there's now this broader population that's starting to mobilize against the brotherhood and firmly believes we are not only not with them, but we're actually with the brotherhood and, actually, the most
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dangerous example of this is the christians, who are convinced that this administration is supporting the muslim brotherhood. we should be doing something to counteract that very bad piece of public diplomacy. >> very quickly. >> i agree with what eric said. let me just put a finer point on it. the fact that we had nothing to say on november 22nd or november 23rd about this constitutional decree has now fed a narrative that, once again, we are trading stability for democracy which is not, which is not a healthy thing because, once again as i said in my presentation, it's not as if we are seen as a benevolent actor. and now it is seen again, it's reinforcing the idea that these are just words and if morsi can keep gaza quiet, he can vir
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callly do anything the in the political arena which i think is unfortunate. >> can i have just two cents on this? my own view is that the problem predates november 22nd. there are lots of analytical and prescriptive errors i think we've made over the last year and a half in dealing we egypt. i would say that i think we were much too quick to lower the bar on what constitutes, um, statesmanship and what president morsi contributed to the gaza resolution. i think when you look much more closely at, in fact, what role the various actors played, the contribution -- while significant -- was not nearly the level of statesmanship and farsightedness that he was
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recognized with. and i think that that handcuffed us the day later. more generally, i think president obama was absolutely right in january and february of 2011 to have praised the change underway in egypt. and if the united states deserves credit for praising what the president called this hopeful moment to open egypt to the prospect of universal rights, then we had a responsibility to follow through and to say whether in general, whether that hopeful moment is being pursued and whether we can still support. because, in fact, it is a really what much of this is about. the egyptians know whether or not they're going down a path, deserve to know whether they're going down a path that america can still support. and, indeed, they deserve to know sooner rather than later,
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rather than waking up one morning and finding that 535 people on capitol hill are going to say that they're on a path that america cannot support. so i believe that we should have been bolder. not getting down into the weeds about this or that article, but bolder in our statements in terms of the process and content of this constitutional development. next question. i have, yes, hillary. >> hi. i'm hillary for ambassador cohen. you talked about on the operational level things being business as usual with the egyptians, and i'm wondering if you could talk about the smuggling situation in sinai and whether that's also stayed as it has been. and secondly, whether you think that there's reason to believe that that will stay the same or
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that there could be a trickle down from the leadership's change in attitude to that operational level that you might also see the operational relationship wees reel e -- with israel eroding over time too. >> okay. why don't we take a couple more questions as well. dave pollack on my left. >> thank you. i wanted to ask about a comment that steve cook made early on that was sort of left hanging as i see it which is about the salafis. what you said was that when the dust settled, what we are likely to see is that the political dynamism, i think was your expression, in egypt was going to be between the brotherhood and salafis. in other words, within the islamist spectrum of politics. and can you or anyone on the panel tell us a little bit about that? after all, tease are the -- these are the people who won 25%
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in the parliamentary election, who got street gangs that are apparently permitted by the new constitution to enforce public order and morals, and i venture to say also that these, the younger generation which several speakers have alluded to is not all a bunch of liberals and democrats. there are millions of young salafis and just ordinary thugs in egypt who are very far from being in the spirit of tahrir. thank you. >> thank you. yes, right here. right in the center. >> swraimmy weinstein from the daily caller. you, steve, mentioned that the muslim brother had has cadres, but maybe not the police in the military. and my question is, do we know to what extent if at all there has been any muslim brotherhood sympathy in the military, maybe at the colonel level, that maybe another revolution would help the muslim brotherhood install
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an islamist dictatorship? >> why don't we address these three questions, shalom, we want to address the questions about gaza and border security, and then we'll move on to salafists and the army. >> that's today cooperation between the two countries and at large in sinai cooperation on this is -- you have this -- [inaudible] and other things, terrorism. as we understand the situation now, it seems that there is a real split between the political level and security and military level in egypt that regarding to israel are not really going together. it seems like that there is a real effort coming from the brotherhood and mainly from the president, morsi, to take the portfolio of israel regarding to all kind of cooperation that two
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country has together to the hand of the intelligence services and the security. and in this regard the relation between the two countries are continuing as before as i mentioned. i think that the egyptian interest is at least for now in what you see in the future is to keep those relation intact because it is part of their interest. they don't want to deteriorate the relation with israel over those questions when they understand that they have a real interest in that. what will be in the future if their relation with the brotherhood will be in power and really will be more going after this question of peace process with israelis or not, i don't think so. i think that there is an understanding that the peace process is one of the pillar of the stability of egypt, israel and the region at large. so i think that they will keep it as it is.
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we saw it over gaza conflict recently that, after all, this regime behaved exactly as mubarak regime behaved in the same circumstances. i mean that mubarak would do probably some step, one of them will be recalling the ambassadors. so this is what morsi sid did, he recalled his ambassador. mubarak tried to moderate the flame, you know, between the two sides, a kind of go between between israelis and hamas to show them that he's part of the game here and he is important. this is what morsi did. and no much more than that. we see a kind of resemblance of steps between the two regimes. the only change that really appeared is that for the first time morsi did something that mubarak did not do which is to
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accept the head of the hamas and the member of the jihad islamic to the presidential palace which was at the time of mubarak a new behavior. you don't do that with hamas. the relations are not so close. and now he wanted to distinguish himself from the other regime, the fact that he is part of the hamas or is the big brother of the hamas. so the brotherhood and morsi really accepted the visit of the leader of the hamas in cairo at the highest level talks. so this is what i have to say about it, and i think that we will continue to see a kind of distinction between the political behavior toward israel which are not there anymore and the security and military behavior that will continue to exist. >> thank you. um, steve.
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salafists in the military. >> thanks, dave. i know you were listening. but i didn't want say when the dust settled, because i don't think the dust will settle, but i do think going forward you will have this dynamic relationship between the salafists. i think the basis for that is both anecdotal as well as what is in the constitution and what's happened over the course of the last year or so. if you talk to the salafis, they say who are these bourgeois dill taxes? we are closer to the street. we own every kiosk in all of egypt, we know the people. we have delivered social services to them. these are just professional bourgeois. they don't know anything. and i think that there is a certain amount of, you know, islamist street cred going on here that i think the salafists want to one up the brotherhood on. second, if you look at the content of the constitution
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where it addresses us ram or sharia, there are the bases of a conflict between the salafists and the brotherhood. article 2, article 219, over what interpretation is. and there is going to be this effort on the part of the salafists to say that's not in keeping with our understanding. and it is going to drive this conflict between the two. and above it all is ago as star which is wanting to reestablish its prestige, trying to hit the sweet spot of the center of egyptian politics. and i think, you know, to the extent that the liberals can continue to not get together, that the revolutionaries are unable to transform the great promise of tahrir into an actual political movement, that these groups along with the remnant of the old regime when it comes down to electoral politics will split despite there is this coalition. you really will find, um, the debates and con testation going
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on on the islamist end of the spectrum. very quickly on the military, when i was doing systematic research on the military ten years or so again for my dissertation, i would ask this question at every opportunity. and they would say to me, we're on it, don't worry about it. if there's anything we're on top of, it's making sure there are no islamists in the military. but they were on it, and then there was a revolution. so who knows really what's going on. we do know, you know, that the egyptian military is a reflection of egyptian society. there are people who quite clearly sympathize with the muslim brotherhood throughout egyptian society. they sort of tried to deal with this over years by a discourse that included islam in the military. the military is run in accordance with islamist principles. we are an islamic army. the whole justification for going and taking part in operation desert shield was in opposition to holding the places
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in saudi arabia. but if there's any inkling of how many -- i'd say it could possibly hatch. we don't -- happen. we don't really know what's been going on at the lower level of the ranks. there was during this transition between mubarak and morsi significant amount of unhappiness i and they were funning a lot of white houses -- funneling a lot of resources to keep people quiet so there wouldn't be dissension in the ranks. >> do we know the strategy of the muslim brotherhood -- [inaudible] >> it has historically been a strategy of the muslim brotherhood from the very beginning. they said we need the military in order to advance our political agenda. >> thank you. eric? >> i just want to echo what steve said about the salafists. you know, it's said that our constitution is an invitation to struggle among the different branches of government. this constitution, i think, is an invitation to struggle among islamists in egypt about the definition of sharia, about, you
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know, the future of allah, about what it means to use state institutions for insuring morality, and i do think that's the future. the one kind of thing to think about this future salafist struggle, the brotherhood is one organized, regimented thing. salafists are deeply divided among different streams and different shapes and different groups, so i think it has to be really interesting to see if they do in the next parliamentary elections which is all organized under one coalition. if they can do that, then every salafist knows who to vote for. but if they're divided, it's actually very possible when you see the emergence of the would-be presidential candidate putting together his own party, not being so align with the the noor party, it'd be interesting to see whether the salafists can old hot. you'll remember, like i said, brotherhood has this regimented five-eight year process.
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well, becoming a salafist is kind of like -- you declare yourself a -- [inaudible] which means you're committed to living the life of the prophet muhammad, and that's it. which i think would be a lot more attractive. just something to keep in mind. as for infiltration of the military, from my perspective, it's a black box. we see what comes out of it, not what goes into it, but i did meet in my summer research this one guy who is affiliated -- who is a muslim brother and formerly in the military. he was also -- i'm not going to say exactly how i met him, but the point of this discussion was everyone was calling him general. so i asked him why do they call you general, were you, in fact, in the army? he said, yes. i said, while you were in the muslim brotherhood? he said, yes. how did you keep that secret? he said, the muslim brotherhood gives us training on how to hide our affiliation while we're in the military. as steve's dissertation adviser
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likes to say the plural of -- [inaudible] is data. but if you find multiple of these, you may be able to see a pattern, but we don't have that at the moment. >> just one closing thought. about the salafists. the most -- i think they're a very impress e bunch, and while eric and i were meeting with some of the leaders of one of the, the leading salafist party a couple months ago, there was a whole panel of very impressive young people. during a break, coffee break, one of them explains that he met his wife at harvard. so the salafists, well educated here in america at the finest universities, and his wife, they met at harvard. so that, i think that's something we can look forward to is a harvard-educated salafist party leadership coming in egypt. with that, please, join me in thanking, f
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